I have been collecting blades for some time and have at least one set of every Hogan "Apex"- labelled blade (excluding the cavity back, Edges, Plus, and the like) from 1972-1998, a set of copper coin Medallions, and a set of 1970 Bounce Soles. I have tried to find sets of the early Precisions and IPTs, but they are VERY hard to find, and when I have, especially for the Precisions, they have been out of my price range (usually from Japan or the UK).
Probably because I don't want to go broke over this, I agree with the above post that you should collect based on what you like, not what the collectors market says will make you rich, and that you should play what you collect (generally). I don't like game improvement clubs, so I just collect blades. As most on here know, the Hogans are some of the best ever made, and each version has its own distinctive appeal. So I play different ones at different times just for pleasure. Hogan said there was nothing better than the feel of a well-struck golf shot with a well-made forged iron. I agree. I think that anyone who understands the golf swing, has reasonable coordination, and is willing to swing a club a few times a day hitting some balls (25-50) into a net can develop and maintain the ability to hit blades well. Of course, you have to do some work on a range, especially in the development stage, and even when maintaining a swing, so that you can analyze and correct ball flight. But not more than once a week after you have a good swing, as long as you are hitting balls consistently into a net for muscle memory and playing at least once every two weeks or so. I am 62, have played nothing but blades all my life, and still am a scratch player. Yes, I am in shape (I work out, have maintained flexibility, and watch what I eat), but I am NOT an exceptional athlete. I believe there is SUCH a psychological aversion to forged, muscle back blades that is unnecessary and that is really exacerbated by the marketing ploy to sell modern clubs. Sure, "game improvement clubs" will help a player who doesn't care to develop a sound swing and who makes inconsistent contact, but I want to say to such a guy: you're missing the real fun of golf! Take some lessons from a good pro and establish good fundamentals, take the time to build a sound swing, then maintain it. Call me a purist (please!), but not enough people know what kind of pleasure they would get out of not just playing, but playing well, and especially from striking a forged, muscleback blade well. But then again, I'm kinda glad; that means there is less demand and more affordable selection for me!
That's my rant. I have a lot of other sets of blades (I love Wilsons, especially FG-17s, Cleveland CG1s and Classic Tour Forged, both of which are VERY underrated, McGregor VIPs, which were good enough for Roy McIvoy, so good enough for me, and Golden Ram Tour Blades, which you never hear about). But the Hogans are some of the best.). Here, a little late, is my ranking of the top five (keep in mind I haven't hit or closely inspected any of the 50's or 60's versions):
1) 1998 Apex—the first Spalding issue and the first after Mr. Hogan's death. A blending of the '88 Redlines and '94 Channelbacks in design. A "modern" playable blade with classic looks. Forged at the Yoro factory in Japan. Hard to beat by anything. Hogan would have been proud; really worthy of the name.
2) 1990 Apex "BH Grind"—There is a reason these are said to be Mr. Hogan's preferred grind. Excellent, pure feel when hit properly. Like the ball isn't even there.
3) 1979-82 Apex II (white cameo)—These are often neglected in "favorites" lists, but they have smoother lines than most Hogan blades, which typically have straighter lines. The definition between the muscle and the top of the club (and to a lesser extent, the sole) is more rounded/curved, which I tend to prefer aesthetically. They are also a little longer blade, which I don't prefer. But, again, they feel like butter.
4) 1988 Apex "Redline"—The reason I include these is not because they are my favorite to look at—I don't particularly like the thicker sole—but because they were the first Hogan to adjust to the changing ball (three-piece to two piece) by moving mass lower in the club face to help get lower spin balls airborne more easily. They are thus more adaptable to "modern" equipment specs but are still a true muscle back blade in every sense. And they don't look bad, either. I like to work the ball so I still play a three-piece ball, which is probably why I still like playing the older blades.
5) 1973-78 Apex—How do you not include the second version of the Apex, which made all the immediately obvious improvements to the original 1972, and lasted the longest of any Apex version? I don't prefer the more squared off look to the later Apex II or 1992 Apex, but as far as feel and just a classic blade look, it is the standard.
Honorable mention: 1985-87 Apex PC—The "hard-to-hit" line is overstated on these clubs. They are beautiful, and the reason I included my rant above. Smaller blade, yes, but if you have a repeatable, solid swing, that shouldn't be a problem. I have two sets, one mint and one that I play, and I love them.
I wonder if I'm too late for anyone to read this post, but there you have it, for what it's worth: my two cents. If any of any Hogan notes were incorrect, I would appreciate correction by any other Hogan-o-philes or experts on here.